Politics at Their Worst!

How many Washington state residents know about the “political window dressing” that Christine Gregoire is trying to pull down over their eyes? Well, I as a small business owner, certified appraiser, and local professional for over ten years in this state know that something stinks! I recently attended the Appraiser’s Coalition of Washington State Meeting at the “ACOW XI” and found out that even though our state’s Real Estate Appraiser Commission is 100% funded by the appraiser licensing fees already collected, that our Governor wants to remove the ONLY source of consumer protection that our state has in place for professional appraisal practices (as far as regulation)… WHY??? because the politics of appearing like government “trimming the fat” and attempting to dupe the public into believing our Governor is actually making real moves to balance an unbalanced budget (that went from balanced to unbalanced VERY quickly after taking office). It is important for EVERY VOTER and LEGISLATOR to understand that the removal of our only consumer protection regarding professional valuation services may end up on the “chopping block” for no sane reason at all – PERIOD! The reason is, plain and simple, a politician that is trying to “make appearances” of trimming down government…. But, remember, no funds for this organization come from the general fund…. so it makes NO sense at all.

Some of you might be thinking, “what about federal protection?” well, the newly adopted HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct) WOULD have had some balance IF some original clauses would have been included – but (read my other posts) the final draft did not include some key safeguards and/or were never adopted; instead we are still waiting for an ” Independent Valuation Protection Agency”, a provision of the poorly implemented HVCC that has still yet to be established. – So – there really is no Federal protection right now because the big lending giants, FannieMae and FreddieMac have now been taken over by our government (instead of previously being Government Sponsored Entities – “GSE”s). To top that off, the “housing recovery” is also not working fast enough for those who really need it, so we need this type of consumer protection more than ever right now.

Do we really need to trim away an established and self-funded program that is not costing our government or tax payers any money (and no time)? Abolish a local agency that may be the ONLY protection in place at this time within our state?

I truly believe this is politics at their worst. I hope our legislature sees through this and preserves the only consumer protection we currently have surrounding these issues in our state.

Please do not let our governor make decisions for simple “window dressing” – the bottom line is that tax payers in our state deserve good protection – we have that – and what we already have is not costing our tax payers anything. Until we make new legislation, please help preserve the only safeguard we have. Please, talk to your legislator.


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3 Comments to Politics at Their Worst!

  1. by Michael Eachus

    On June 30, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Update: Thanks to the hard work of the Appraiser’s Coalition of Washington (ACOW)and lobbyist T.K. Bentler, the Real Estate Appraisal Commission has, once again, been spared. Very big thanks to ACOW and T.K.!!

  2. by Glennplake

    On August 13, 2010 at 2:16 am

    The rules REPLACING the HVCC will be very similar, although they haven’t been agreed upon yet. The HVCC never had a chance in my town. We accepted the lower fees but WE CUT THEIR VALUES! They eventually got the point. We laugh about it all the time. “Cut it and forget it”. The AMC’s are getting what they paid for. What appraiser in his right mind would give FULL market value for half the fee? NO ONE!

  3. by michaeleachus

    On August 20, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Glennplake, although I understand the reasoning behind your “low fee = low value” approach, I do not agree with it. Just because YOU accept a low fee for your services, that does not excuse you from adhering to USPAP. By allowing a low fee that YOU accepted to influence your value conclusions, you are committing fraud. It is just as wrong to over-value as it is to under-value. The standard definition of value (pre-printed on the FNMA appraisal forms) states, ” the most probable price….”. What you are providing when you intentionally provide a low value opinion (on purpose due the fee you agreed to) does not meet this definition.

    I believe a better solution would be to “just say no” to the low fee assignments – or – negotiate the fee to a point where you feel it is fair and resonable for an honest opinion. Remember: USPAP requires you to be UNBIASED in your valuation. Letting a low fee dictate your value conclusions, in my opinion, is not only wrong, but also shows that you are allowing an outside force to influence (or bias) your opinion of value; as such you are in violation of (several secitons of) the Conduct section in the Ethics Rule of USPAP. Note: “USPAP” is The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (for those non-appraisers out there).

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